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For the Birds

I Like Birds by Prints by Peskimo on Zatista.com

Any present-day ornithologist will tell you that our feathered friends that share the planet with us have a broad impact on our daily lives. Whether it be for their products such as eggs or feathers, or their ability to control certain insect pests, or their arrivals and departures signaling seasonal and climate changes, birds are an important part of our world.

Nevermore by Jeffrey Hummel on Zatista.com

Famous ornithologists of the past, such as Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon and John Gould, were not only interested in the scientific study of birds, they were also drawn to their beauty and aesthetic qualities.  Each of them was a brilliant artist who created lavish volumes cataloging and illustrating the different species.

Flight by Tracy Mewmaw on Zatista.com

In Wausau, Wisconsin at the Woodson Art Museum, the annual Birds in Art exhibit continues to focus on this inexhaustible and irresistible subject, showcasing some of the best artistic talent around.

Little Owl by Nikolai Kraneis on Zatista.com

Birds are a source of fascination even for those of us without scientific or artistic backgrounds and agendas. Birdwatching organizations and publications have enjoyed increased popularity among people for whom observing birds ranges from a recreational activity to a serious and sometimes competitive pursuit.

Cape May Warbler by Andrea van Voorst van on Zatista.com

To watch a bird in flight, on the hunt, tending its young, or at rest, is to understand why these free spirits appear as symbols in so many cultures, for so many different qualities, and why they are so universally admired. Who among us hasn’t looked at the sky and wished we could fly like a bird?

Lunchtime for Blue Bird by Anthony Dunphy on Zatista.com

One thing is certain, artistic images of birds are as plentiful and varied as the creatures themselves. They appear as motifs on just about anything you can print with a design, and paintings of birds make a wonderful addition to any home, bringing a little bit of nature indoors. What’s your favorite bird and why?

Brian Sylvester is a guest blogger on WallSpin, and an artist on Zatista.



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'Tis the season for migrating birds. I'm no expert, but I've read that the most common pattern is the autumn return to warmer regions to the south, primarily for food and nesting locations. As winter approaches, escaping the cold is a motivating factor but many species, including ...